Christmas Baking 2015 | Christmas Cookies

Last batch of Gingerbread men I’ll be baking for this year’s Christmas.

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If you’re interested in baking a batch, click the recipe with pictures and video right HERE

Enjoy your Happy Holidays beautiful people!

Christmas Elves | Christmas Tradition | Best Gingerbread Cookies!

It’s Gingerbread time again! How about creating beautiful Christmas memories in the kitchen this year?!

This delicious gingerbread men recipe is kid chef friendly and a guarantee to improve your kids creative potential.

Gingerbread Men Recipe

DRY INGREDIENTS
3 3/4 Cups All purpose Flour
3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoon Cinnamon powder
2 teaspoon ginger powder

WET INGREDIENTS
1.5 Cups Butter
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 large Egg
1/3 Cup + 1 Tablespoon Molasses ( can be substitute with honey )
2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients together and set aside.

Using the electric mixer on medium high speed, cream butter till light then add in the sugar.  Cream until light and fluffy then add in 1 egg.  Mix well then add in the molasses and vanilla extract.  Mix well then spoon in half of the dry ingredients.  Mix well then add the rest of the dry ingredients.

Divide the dough into 3 parts and wrap it in sandwich bag or cling wrap. (The dough will be very wet.) Refrigerate for about an hour or even overnight.

Preheat the oven at 350 degree

Dust your work space with some flour and knead the dough until it’s not so sticky to handle.  Roll the dough to about 1/8 inch thick in between parchment paper then use gingerbread cookie cutter to make shapes, remove the excess dough then place shaped dough on the baking tray.  ( please watch the video if you don’t understand )

Note: Kids may need lots of parchment papers cut into about bond paper size sheets during the rolling of the dough to make it easier for their little hands to handle.

Bake for 8 minutes for a scrumptiously chewy cookies;  And about 10minutes for a scrumptiously crunchy cookies.  Let the cookies cool down at room temp. before lifting them up from the pan.  Once cooled, time to DECORATE with lots of colorful royal icing !

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Royal icing recipe and lots more sample decorations HERE

After decorating your cookies with icings and sweets, let it set completely at room temperature, which will take about an hour depending on the thickness of your icing.

Finally, store the cookies in airtight container  between parchment papers for up to 1.5 weeks.

Don’t forget to leave some for Santa 🙂

 

Donut Recipe / Cake Doughnuts / Kids cooking

Doughnut or Donut is a fried ring shape dessert that is comprised of 100% Bad Carbs, 100% Bad Fats and perhaps ?% Preservative.  Pure evil.  Don’t you agree?

Of course you do.  That is why it’s so hard to resist donut temptations.

And that is also why I have tried my best (even though I know it’s impossible) to prevent Bug from ever discovering what the hell is a doughnut.

To make a sad story short.  Recently, ‘doughnut’ became her new vocabulary.  It happened just about 3 weeks ago after being invited to a friend’s birthday party.  And ever since then she never stopped asking for a doughnut every time we pass by a doughnut store.  

Hence last week I decided to make a ‘considerably healthy” doughnut recipe that Bug / kids can learn to make and enjoy.  No yeast needed, so it’s pretty fast to make.  And best of all kids love them.

cake donut recipe

Uncooked donuts by Chef Celeste

But first let me just clear out one thing, making donuts are not at all easy for a kid beginner or even adult.  Bug made this twice last week before getting it right.  The first time she made this it was a bit tough because she over kneaded the dough and added too much flour.  At one point I think she even forgot that she was handling a bread dough and not play dough.  I knew it would happen and I was expecting it but I didn’t jump in to help her because I wanted her to learn.  The second time around was delicious!  So if your little one don’t get it right the first time, TRY AGAIN because it’s worth it.

I personally like them coated with just plain cinnamon sugar or spread with strawberry jam but I’m sure Bug prefers them frosted with sprinkles and such like the store bought ones.  So below are frosting recipes I used for our doughnuts.

Strawberry glaze:  The one I used in the video is just melted white chocolate with a drop of strawberry oil and red food coloring.

Caramel glaze :  I used store bought caramel sauce

White chocolate glaze : melted white chocolate.

Cinnamon Sugar topping:  Mix 1/4 Cup white sugar + 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder

Ingredients to make 4 standard doughnuts
Difficulty Level : Moderate for kids.

1/2 Cup + 2 Tablespoon All purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 egg
3 Tablespoon sugar
2.5 Tablespoon Sour Cream
Please watch the video for the procedure 🙂

Tips for a tender donut:
– Do not over knead the dough for it will result in tough donut.  Knead for just a couple of minutes.  If the dough is too sticky to roll out, fold in a little more flour just until it’s good enough to roll with a rolling pin.

– Fry just until golden brown on both sides.  About a minute per side.

Eat them fresh because they taste the best!

Celestine’s Baking Party! Little Chef Party

I planned this party two months ahead since I really wanted to DIY everything (decorations, activities and food).  Here are some things you can do to have a simple little chef party for your little one.

little chef baking party

To set the mood for the entire event we need decorations.  This was really easy to pull off because all you really need were lots of colorful papers, a few balloons on the ceiling and the cupcakes on the wall was a fun weekend project for Celeste.

baking party

Nothing will make some plain cupcakes look elegant and delicious than a cake stand.  Each kid will get to decorate their very own cupcakes on a cake stand.  How wonderful is that!

The materials used for the stands are round styrofoams ( 6 inch diameter and 2 inch high), yellow and green art paper or cartolina and 8 inch gold cake board.

Click on the blue links

DIY play doh recipe

DIY Play Doughs / Play Doh — I used 9 Cups of flour since I was expecting around 9 to 10 kids.  1 Cup of of flour per color which yield around 8 ounces of play dough.  Made these 3 weeks ahead. Don’t forget to provide cookie cutters and rolling pins!

DIY APRON

little chef birthday party

I bought the felt mustaches at the bookstore / scrapbook area.

DIY Paper Chef Hat — So easy you can do this in less than 10 minutes!  Don’t forget the felt mustaches!

DIY Butter cupcakes — Here’s my little secret, I used the recipe of Martha stewart many times without fail.  I divided the batter into three equal parts then added a bit of food coloring, spoon them in the muffin cups then bake it for about 20minutes.  Presto! Pretty colorful cupcakes!

DIY Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes — Here’s my go to chocolate cupcake recipe. I made a total of 48 cupcakes.  4 cupcakes per child plus extra for those kid at heart 🙂

DIY Yummy Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Kids are crazy for frosting so you need lots of it and of course candies, cookies and sprinkles to decorate.

buttercream frosting recipe 1 Cup Salted Butter
4 Cups Powdered Sugar, sifted
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
about 4 Tablespoon of milk
Food coloring (optional)

Beat butter with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on low to incorporate sugar with the butter. Increase the speed to medium and add vanilla extract.  Add in water to make it smooth.  Add in the remaining sugar. Mix on high speed until light and smooth. Add in food coloring.

The best part is of course the blowing of the CAKE!

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My little chef with her pet tigers!

Don’t forget to check out the video for more ideas!  For questions, comments and suggestions please write it down below

Cheesecake Bites by Little Chef

The first time I made cheesecake was when I was 14 or 15, and it was blueberry flavored.  I used canned blueberry as topping instead of fresh fruits and it was a hit.  I remember I was able to sell eight 8″ round blueberry cheesecakes during my school break and I was so proud of myself.   My mom was the one who taught me how to price my pies correctly and that presentation and sanitation is also very important. That was my first valuable lesson in business which I’ve never forgotten.  I kept the money I earned in my little red portable cash box not wanting to use it ever because I realized how hard it was to earn a “living”.

This was the recipe I used.  No bake, easy and seriously addicting cheesecake!  I taught my 3 year old how to make this last month and I took the above video of her last week making this the second time by herself.  It’s that easy!

No need mixer.  No need oven.  So convenient!

Notes and Suggestions:

1.   Toppings can vary depending on your taste.  Canned blueberry fillings are excellent but I prefer fresh fruits like mangoes, kiwi, strawberries and bananas for my little chef.

2.  Tripple or quadruple  all ingredients if you want to make an 8″ round pie instead of six mini pies.

3.  Freezes well.  So make ahead before the big party!

Happy Baking! or should I say Happy Mixing!

Chocolate Ice Cream Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting That Even Toddlers Can Make

Here’s her Cupcake video as promised.   It took me some time to come up with this recipe as I wanted it to be quite healthy and kid-chef-friendly. The cupcakes are not too sweet, moist, a great chocolate fix, and very pretty.  She made this last month for my sister-in-laws birthday and loved it so much that she actually ate most of it !

The original uncut version was thirty minutes long so I had to speed it up a bit and cut some of the scenes to make it into a 10 minutes video. That was pretty hard for me to do since I find all the scenes so darn cute! Anyways, please watch the final product below and tell me what you think.

Anyone can make this because it doesn’t require an electric mixer but of course you need an oven for this.  Duh!

Notes: Over baked cupcakes taste dry and hard so make sure you don’t over bake it.  Do the toothpick test after 15-20 minutes.  ( toothpick test – inserting a toothpick in the center of a cake to test for doneness.  If toothpick comes out clean then its done baking. Otherwise it needs to stay in the oven for a few more minutes )  You may also bake this in a 9 inch pan but the baking time will be about 30-40 minutes.

Safety Rules: Never teach your young kids how to operate the oven because it’s much too dangerous, and you don’t want them to be eating too much cake when you’re not around hahaha 🙂

I usually upload videos on youtube weeks earlier than my post here so if you love watching them you may subscribe on my youtube channel to get notifications of my new videos first thing.

Chef Celeste Cooked Dinner

Bug is growing up tooooo fast!  She does her own grocery shopping at age 1.  Now at 3 she cooks her own meals.   For some of you who might think I’m kinda crazy for teaching her how to cook at this age.  I get it, I get.  Believe it or not I’m actually very protective, but not the obsessive-crazy-type.  Bug has had a lot of practice before I actually let her do things by herself and I don’t teach her how to turn on the oven nor stove and I actually shout a lot during her training for fear of her safety.  And for what? Just so I can tell her to cook our hearty meals one day? Actually, YES 🙂  BUT also because I know she’ll learn so many other things besides memorizing the recipe.  Plus I now realize that it’s a very effective “digital detox.”

Bug playing doctor

Bug playing doctor

Before I started teaching Bug how to cook, she like most kids nowadays are too obsessed with ipads and smart phones.  Now, instead of looking for the ipad she would pretend play with her toy tigers, tell me what she likes to cook and bake, play cooking using her play dough and etc.

Chicken Nuggets

Bug’s Yummy Chicken Nuggets

I know I said that her cupcake video will be up next but I have not finished editing it because it’s 30 minutes long, I still have to cut some more video clips and speed it up to shorten it.  But last month she also made chicken nuggets for dinner, the video is short and sweet so I uploaded it first, I only found the time to write about it yesterday so anyhooo… The chicken nuggets were YUM!  Way better than any chicken nuggets you’ve ever tasted.  Make it! You’ll see!  The recipe is on the video.

The secret is in the breading.  I’ve been using the same breading recipe for years because everyone who have tasted this love it, it’s healthy and it’s versatile.  I usually make a lot more than needed for future use because you can also use it as breading for pork chops, chicken fingers and fish fillets.  Store the excess in an air tight container and refrigerate it to keep it fresh for up to two weeks.

We had breaded pork chops last week.

We had pork chops last week using the same breading recipe on the video.

I always make my own bread crumbs by toasting some toasts and then grating it into crumbs using a cheese grater or food processor.  Food will taste better if you use a more rich or sweet milky bread.

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Chef Celeste grating the toasted milk bread

Optional for those who like it a bit more spicy: add a pinch of black pepper and cayenne pepper on the breading mix.  Serve this with some salad and a glass of OJ (aka orange juice) and you won’t be craving for anything else.

Ps. If you don’t cook, I hope this little Chef have inspired you to start cooking.  If you do cook, I hope you’ll try this mouthwatering recipe 🙂

Thanx for reading! Chow!